Day 56 - Just One More Pass

Wednesday 20th August 2014 

It's been nice in Laudes. Great pizza and a very comfortable apartment for Mick and I. And Stelvio of course. Now it's time to leave the high country and head off the Alps and back to Germany. But not before one last fling.

I've tried to ride over Timmelsjoch, aka Passo Rombo, on two previous occasions. The first time with Charly driving rain and low cloud defeated us. The second time, with my son Jake, we ran into snow and took the lower Reschen Pass option.
 
Hairpins on the Italian side of Timmelsjoch

This time nothing is stopping me and Mick. Clive has decided not to do this last high pass, preferring to ride the easier passes to the west. We will meet up again in Germany.

Timmelsjoch connects Italy's Sud Tirol with Austrian Tirol. It peaks at over 2,500 metres and the weather here can be brutal.
 
High up on Timmelsjoch


The first of 20 tunnels

Today is benign compared to previous attempts. Cloud shrouds the top so we cannot see much but the small cafe is welcoming for coffee and cakes, and of course the sticker trophy. Our panniers are looking pretty cool now.
Welcome pitstop at the Timmelsjoch summit


The southern side is all about bends, tournanti, cliff walls and tunnels. There are 20 tunnels up to the top, all very dramatic.

Proof of concept

I was here

It is less challenging on the ride down into Austria. The Austrians charge a toll of €12 for bikes on their side.

After Timmelsjoch everything feels a bit anticlimactic. There is still the Fern Pass to complete as we ride out of Austria and into Germany at Füssen.
 

Our ride takes us past the Bavarian royal palace at Hoheschwangau and Mad King Ludwig's fantasy castle high above it. We have arranged to meet up with Clive at a campsite on Forggensee, the lake below the castles.

As we ride towards the lake shore we spot the red Ducati outside a pension and find Clive already checked in. So near the end of the trip the thought of pitching our tents doesn't appeal so much. The Gasthof is neat and the landlady is a cheerful soul. We check into a twin room with balcony. €43 each, including breakfast. Not too bad considering we are in one of Germany's premier tourist areas.
 
Hoheschwangau Castle


Neuschwanstein Castle

NEXT POST 

Our pension doesn't appear to do evening meals, or maybe it's the dreaded Ruhetag, anyway we wander down the road to a restaurant for an excellent steak dinner. You can tell we are getting near the end of this marathon.

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